FEATURE7 July 2023

Jack Millership – research hero

Features People

The Market Research Society launched the Research Heroes programme to celebrate the sector’s unsung heroes. Jack Millership has joined the cadre of Research Heroes 2023.


Jack Millership, Data Expertise Lead, Zappi

Jack is Zappi’s data expertise lead.  He works within the product team, ensuring that Zappi conducts high quality, comparable research. He is focused on delivering a programmatic insights ecosystem that increases in value with each research project run. Jack has twelve years of experience in insights, working in tech companies and traditional agencies.

Jack was nominated because he is "a genuine behind-the-scenes industry leader who strives to be on top of online research quality, regardless of the challenges that are constantly emerging. He has pioneered a new approach to help us keep ahead of both current and future sample quality issues..."

What is the biggest challenge you have faced during your career?

The move from project-based agency research to becoming a part of a team that is focused on building a platform. At GfK my role was always to deliver insights for our clients to use in their product and marketing decisions. At Zappi my role is to collaborate on a vision for our platform, and work with our product and engineering teams to make that vision a reality. This often involves grey areas, pragmatism, and compromise!  

What will be the next big trend or development in the research industry, and why?

 I am going to cheat and give two answers:

We as an industry conduct millions of interviews every year.  After research projects are delivered, this data is typically stored in discrete, unconnected silos. Analytical advances such as LLMs present a massive opportunity in delivering additional insight from this information, but there are many challenges in doing so.

We as an industry need to work on data harmonisation, fusion, and connected learnings. This involves a degree of research standardisation, but this cannot be delivered at the expense of research that is tailored to the needs of our clients.

However, this data is worthless if the foundational data we collect is not of a high enough quality.  We are facing a massive problem around sample quality, and we need to tackle this challenge together.  It has been very encouraging to see industry groups such as Esomar, the IA, and the MRS rally around this challenge this year.

Who inspires you as a researcher? 

Totally unrelated to my field of creative and innovation optimisation, but I found the MRP methodology from Benjamin E Lauderdale and the team at YouGov that correctly predicted the last two elections fascinating, and an incredible application of statistics.

Closer to home, I am inspired by the intelligence of my colleagues in the research and data science teams here at Zappi everyday.

 View the full list of Research Heroes 2023